Amazon, Facebook, Zynga and others have joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) to invest $250 million in the sFund for emerging social applications and Web services.
Amazon and Facebook joined renowned venture capital fund Kleiner Perkins
Caufield & Byers (KPCB) to invest $250 million in the sFund, an endeavor to
finance new social applications and Web services.
Social gaming player Zynga, entertainment giants Comcast and Liberty Media,
and Allen & Company all signed on as strategic partners in KPCB's new fund,
the goal of which is to seed startups in the red-hot market for social media
KPCB partner Bing Gordon, former chief creative officer at Electronic Arts
and board director of Amazon and Zynga, will lead the sFund.
financing, counsel, and "relationship capital," according to a
after the initiative was unveiled at Facebook's
headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.,
KPCB partner John Doerr, who helped finance Amazon and Google more than
decade ago, was joined on stage by Facebook CEO
Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and
Zynga CEO Mark Pincus.
"We're at the beginning of a new era for social Internet innovators who
are re-imagining and re-inventing a Web of people and places, looking beyond
documents and Websites," said Doerr.
Zuckerberg and Pincus are certainly testament to that. Zuckerberg presides
over the largest social network in the world, with 500 million-plus users.
Facebook will enable access to its platform teams, beta APIs, and programs
such as the Facebook Credits virtual currency service.
Zynga, whose apps such as Farmville and Mafia Wars have been popularized on
Facebook, will host sessions with sFund companies to focus on management and
Zuckerberg set the tone for the sFund last week at an event to announce
Facebook's deepened social search integration with Bing.
social software will redefine businesses over
the next five years. He echoed those comments today, noting that Websites will
be altered to be social from the ground up.
Amazon's involvement here is interesting.
Though Bezos positioned the boon in social media as prime customer growth
for Amazon Web Services--Zynga and others use AWS--his company's involvement
could point to a markedly more social shopping experience for the e-commerce
Amazon and Facebook are currently testing
a social shopping integration that helps Amazon
shoppers see links and images of products recommended by their Facebook
"Social apps are viral, and when they hit, it often happens suddenly,
and then they grow explosively," said Bezos. "That's one of the reasons the
scalable, elastic, no capex, variable cost nature of Amazon Web Services is
ideal for social apps." His company is providing sFund startups AWS
Getting-Started Support for one year, along with priority access to worldwide
Startup Events and support.